The REAL Swedish Guide to Staying Warm

Glogg up your winter with Martha and Lars

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“More glogg Ingrid? Thank you, Lars, don’t mind if I do.”

According to She Who Must be Obeyed (Martha, not me, at least in this instance), those masters of life on an ice floe keep warm and cheery through the 19-hour winter nights with a steady diet of pickled herring, Swedish meatballs, lox, potatoes and cream, chased with vats of simmering glogg. So far so good, at least for those of us who are toughing out the front end of a new ice age in most of the upper 48 — as for what goes on in Alaska during the annual ten-month winter, I can’t say. Actually, what with the blubber-eating, Ski-Doo racing and endless dark, I can’t even bear to think of what happens up there, which is something coming from a person who looks upon staying indoors and having Irish coffee for breakfast as a viable, even attractive, lifestyle choice, at least in January and February, though some years have seen a bit of December and March creep, but that’s a story for another day.

Anywho, where was I? Pickled herring, winter benders, oh yes, Martha’s winter palace dream party. Described thus:

“Six New York-based friends — all Swedish by birth or marriage — gather for an afternoon of cold-weather comforts: warm glasses of glogg and an elegant yet homey Scandinavian spread.”

What Martha doesn’t tell you is that this was all just a prelude to the main event, namely the consumption of about fifteen liters of Absolut followed by a naked rampage through the snow-covered great lawn in Central Park, which the partygoers took for a summer nudist colony owing to the “warm” nine-degree weather, sunlight and the presence of trees.

Make no mistake, folks, this is how to “warm up like a Swede.”

Absolut fire

“Glogg? GLOGG? We don’t need no stinking glogg, Jorgen. Now fire this baby up and let’s go find the public sauna. I think it’s on 79th Street.”

About WSW

Writer, wife, mother. Toiler in the bottomless, black, soul-sucking coal mine of domestic life. Thank God for the portable bar.

Posted on January 23, 2014, in Cocktails!, Commentary and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. True, though. I live in Sweden, and alcohol is so dawn expensive. Not only is it expensive, but it is also not that readily available. Alcohol is a monopoly of the state, so it can’t be sold in supermarket or 7-elevens. If you want to secure your Saturday night drinking, you’d better get your ass to the state-controlled shop before it closes at 3pm.

    • Maybe that explains the origin of glogg. In desperation you just throw whatever odds and ends you’ve got in a pot (Well, we’ve got some leftover red wine here and some vodka….”), add some spices and boil it up.

      Constant vigilance, as they say, is the price of a decent cocktail hour. Or was that the price of peas? I can never remember. Thanks for stopping in!

  2. GLOGG is undoubtedly a very white person’s drink, as no self-respecting Chinese would ever be able to pronounce that wretched combination of consonants. Really? Two “gs” in a row strung together like that? Is that really necessary?

  3. Hi Wendi, one thing if you are Swedish you need glogg and alcohol because ABBA is Swedish is enough reason to get sloshed and run naked in the snow.

  4. The Swedes are probably just happy to be able to afford alcohol here. Taxes on the stuff are so high over there that I didn’t want to touch it when I visited.

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